KINGS of AXUM. Ezanas. Circa 300-350 AD. AE15mm. Struck after his conversion to Christianity in 330 AD. BACI LEYC, draped bust right in headcloth / +TOV TO APECH TH XWPA (May This [the cross] Please the Country), small cross in circle. Munro-Hay 52; BMC Aksum 90.

This week, another coin from the fascinating kingdom of Axum (Aksum). This time a small bronze from late in the history of the kingdom, just after the the king Ezana (Ezanas) converted to Christianity. Axum was among the first kingdoms to covert to Christianity and to publicly display its allegiance to the faith on coinage. Ezana is among the best-attested kings of Axum, largely due to his religious conversion, which was the result of the teachings of his Syrian tutor, Frumentius. Ezana was also in contact with the Roman Emperor Constantius II, who requested that Ezana prove that this Christianity was Orthodox by Roman standards. Ezana ignored these requests and established his own, independent church, the origin of the modern Ethiopian Orthodox Church (now in communion with the Coptic Orthodox Church). Today Ezana is a Saint in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Ezana was a powerful and influential king. His coins have been found as far away as India, proving that Axum in this period continued to be a powerful trading kingdom. Ezana was also a military commander who led campaigns into Meroe. Ezana’s coins have an interesting, unique feature, in that some, like this one, bear a legend on the reverse: “May this please the country.” While this cataloguer believes this legend refers to the cross, and, by implication, Christianity, scholars believe that Ezana hoped that the coinage would be met with approval, possible following upon economic difficulties. Whatever it refers to Ezana seems to have been concerned for the approval of his people.

Egyptian Basalt Bust of Thutmose III, 18th Dynasty, Reign of Tuthmosis III, 1479-1426 BC

Thutmose III is perhaps best known as a great military commander and a large number of successful campaigns are attested during his reign, during which time he notably expanded Egypt’s boundaries. He is also well known as the young prince whose stepmother, Hatshepsut, initially ruled Egypt as co-regent. After her death in 1468 B.C., the king began his sole reign, which was marked by extensive building and reconstruction projects, particularly at Karnak.

This bust is probably from an enthroned statue of the king. He is wearing a ribbed ceremonial beard with chin-straps in relief, and the nemes-headcloth with alternating wide and narrow stripes and striated lappets and queue.

Everybody changes,” Mat rasped. “How can I be sure? Perrin? Is that you? You’ve changed, haven’t you?” His laugh sounded more like a cough. “Oh, yes, you’ve changed.”

To Rand’s surprise Perrin dropped onto the edge of the other bed with his head in hands, staring at the floor. Mat’s hacking laughter seemed to pierce him.

Nynaeve knelt beside Mat’s bed and put a hand to his face, pushing up his headcloth. He jerked back from her with a scornful look. His eyes were bright and glazed. “You’re burning,” she said, “but you should not be sweating with this much fever.” She could not keep the worry out of her voice. “Rand, you and Perrin fetch some clean cloths and as much cool water as you can carry. I’ll bring your temperature down first, Mat, and —”

“Pretty Nynaeve,” Mat spat. “A Wisdom isn’t supposed to think of herself as a woman, is she? Not a pretty woman. But you do, don’t you? Now. You can’t make yourself forget that you’re a pretty woman, now, and it frightens you. Everybody changes.” Nynaeve’s face paled as he spoke, whether with anger or something else, Rand could not tell. Mat gave a sly laugh, and his feverish eyes slid to Egwene. “Pretty Egwene,” he croaked. “Pretty as Nynaeve. And you share other things now, don’t you? Other dreams. What do you dream about now?

Matrim “Mat” Cauthon

Robert Jordan, The Wheel of Time: The Eye of the World

Châle de tête (kain kapala, iket kepala)

1ère moitié du 20e siècle
bâti, batik, coton
Banyumas , Java centrale

© RMN-Grand Palais (musée Guimet, Paris) / Thierry Ollivier

Section Textile du musée Guimet

Egyptian Bronze Bell, Ptolemaic, 304-30 BC

In the form of an inverted lotus, with the striated overlapping petals in low relief, the crown a reeded suspension loop, perforated below, the iron clapper strung through a wire hooked through a perforation on either side, one side embellished with relief decoration comprising a head of a falcon wearing a striated tripartite headcloth, a falcon headed scepter below, adorned with a broad collar and a tripartite headcloth surmounted by a uraeus, flanked by two nefer signs before inward facing wedjat-eyes and conforming brows, the irises in “black” bronze, adorsed crocodiles along the lower rim.